Lancet Editorial – Research integrity: time for global action

Featured Journal Content

The Lancet
Nov 30, 2019 Volume 394 Number 10213 p1965-2038, e38
https://www.thelancet.com/journals/lancet/issue/current
Editorial
Research integrity: time for global action
The Lancet
China has become a formidable global leader in scientific—including medical—research, with the world’s largest publication output, a rapid surge in the number of highly cited researchers, and an increasingly unparalleled quality of scientific publications. However, there is often a shadow hanging over any country’s progress, especially a nation that has advanced with spectacular velocity. China is no exception. And the current concern, escalated to the highest levels of the Chinese Government, is research integrity….

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The unfolding migrant crisis in Latin America
The Lancet
With the political crisis intensifying across Latin America, the difficulties in a region already struggling with massive migration and economic instability are becoming more complex. The number of people migrating across borders within this region has increased by 36% in the past 15 years, reaching 63·7 million in 2015; and of these migrants, 808 000 were defined as refugees, who are the most vulnerable type of migrants and often have insufficient access to appropriate health services. People smuggled by human trafficking and victims of violence are among these migrants.

There are several reasons for migration. Established migrant flows (eg, from Peru to Chile) are driven by labour markets, whereas more recent migration flows (eg, from Venezuela to Colombia) are driven by political and economic instability. Climate change might also become a substantial driver of migration: the UN estimates that of the top 25 nations most at risk for natural disasters, eight are in Latin America and the Caribbean. Inadequate sanitation and shelter, lack of sufficient water and food, and overcrowding in transit centres might increase the risk of migrants acquiring communicable diseases. Without adequate surveillance measures, diseases that were once eradicated from a country can re-emerge. According to the UN, the 634 migrant deaths registered in 2019 in the Americas has already surpassed the number in 2018 (517), and 2019 might be the deadliest year on record for migrants in the region.

The global UN resolution adopted in 2018 urged cooperation among member states in protecting migrants. However, although it is laudable to have migrants’ right to health on the global agenda, Latin American countries are still struggling to improve their national health policies. To protect migrants from the increasing political instability in Latin America, preparedness is crucial. All governments must take their share of responsibility, fully commit, and coordinate efforts with non-governmental organisations and civil society to translate the global agreement on migration into national practices.